If there is anything my years have taught me it’s that God is able. God is able to do far beyond what we could hope and imagine. Often, while I am still scrambling to work out what to do, God has already solved the problem. I can assure you, prayer and fasting are powerful weapons in the war against poverty, oppression and injustice.
As we have moved through this month on abuse against women it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Women, physically abused and yet believing they deserved it, a woman who was sexually abused as a child turned into a trafficker. Gendercide. The lie, direct from Satan, that women are less valuable than men, that they deserve less respect, that they are property is far reaching and the ramifications are horrendous. Even in the church too often we’ve danced around and avoided the issue. The situation can seem hopeless. And yet God is able. He’s able to bring transformation to this issue as well.
What’s it going to take? God’s truth and God’s power. And an army of people who are willing to make this their passion.
God’s truth gives us our foundation. It’s only as people truly understand truth that they really change. I remember in one of my early attempts to address this issue, I challenged the men at the training to thank their wives instead of beating them. When I saw them again they were delighted. As they shared ‘our wives are much easier to control when we thank them.’ Oh la la. Changing behaviour is not enough – we need truth!
We also need God’s power. I could spend all day telling you of the miracles I have seen happen. Biblical truths by themselves are not enough to bring true transformation to this issue – we need God’s power. It’s a spiritual battle, and God is able, stronger and more powerful than any lie of the enemy.
God works through people. This morning I read the story of the Levite and his concubine found in Judges 19. It’s an ugly story on so many levels. But what did strike me was the reaction of the Levite to the death of his concubine as a result of rape. His horror at what had happened spurned drastic action – sending pieces of his concubine’s body to each of the tribal leaders. While clearly we don’t want to endorse too much of what he did – I do appreciate his outrage. He dramatically demanded action, and the leaders of all the people of Israel gathered. Today there are hundreds of women who are raped and die, others locked up and repeatedly raped. Are we equally outraged? Are we demanding the world take notice and change?
God is able to bring change. But he uses us. Are we willing to be engaged – to pray, fast and fight to see this lie and the consequences of it destroyed? It’s going to take God’s truth, His power, and us to stand up. The good news is – God is able to bring transformation.